Restoring Enterprise to its Place in the Body of Christ

Business as Mission, Kingdom Business, Great Commission Companies, Purpose-Driven Business, Enterprising Ministry, Kingdom Entrepreneurship - It goes by many names, but there is a new, and yet very old calling in the Global Body of Christ. Many believers are called to walk out their calling in the marketplace. A subset of those believers are called to plant and grow businesses that serve God and the rest of the church. It is their ministry, enterprising ministry, that we describe, support, and explore here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation ( L3C) Update

I believe Low Profit Limited Liability Corporations (L3Cs),  are key entities that will allow believers to fund  BAM initiatives in mission environments.. L3Cs are entities that may allow Corporations to Fund Entrepreneurial Projects and yet still receive Charitable Contribution tax credits.

It's  still complicated to set up, but there is legislation pending, the PRIs Promotion Act,
which is aimed at making funding of  BAM and other social enterprise start ups easier.

The following article is an update on the status of the L3C and the legislation.


by  Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Earlier this year, Americans for Community Development held its inaugural conference, “L3C A to Z,” in Evanston, Ill., to educate nonprofits on Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs) and the advantages they provide for those pursuing program-related investments (PRIs).

At the opening plenary, I served on a panel, along with Robert Lang and Max Martin, on new philanthropic funding structures-focusing primarily on PRIs.

PRIs are an increasingly attractive tool because they allow achievement of charitable goals without depleting endowments, even producing a modest return in many cases. Such investments can provide much-needed capital to initiatives for which a foundation cares about and can often lead to innovative solutions. Examples include low-interest loans and equity investments to entities aligned with the core values of a foundation.

Another type of PRI is the L3C, a special IRS designation for for-profit companies whose primary goal is to provide a social benefit.

  • It is a cross between a charity and a for-profit company. 
  • While PRIs offer several advantages to foundations, government regulations are extremely burdensome. 
  • Under the current system, before a foundation can enter into a PRI it must make a determination that the investment is primarily intended to further a charitable purpose. This is a legal determination based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction. 
  • For old tried and true PRI models, this can be relatively simple because IRS regulation, published letter rulings, and other experience provide guidance about what is and is not allowed. 
  • Newer models for PRIs, particularly L3Cs, are not so straightforward because there are not many examples to rely on to determine when a particular investment’s structure will be considered “charitable” by the IRS. 
  • As a result, foundations may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty of a particular PRI, potentially leading to two choices: advising against the investment or recommending the foundation seek a private letter ruling from the IRS-in other words, killing the opportunity outright or delaying it so long it dies out. 
To ease the burdensome regulations and assist foundations in mission-driven investing, the Council supports legislation creating a voluntary procedure for entities seeking foundation participation in PRIs to obtain an IRS determination that such participation constitutes a permissible charitable activity.
  • The PRIs Promotion Act would restrict how much time the IRS has to respond to these requests, thus encouraging lawyers to seek IRS approval rather than advise against the investment. 
  • The legislation also would increase the efficiency of the system by allowing multiple foundations to rely on a single determination that a PRI is charitable. Currently, each foundation has to make its own determination-increasing the costs and time involved. 
The PRIs Promotion Act has yet to be introduced in Congress, but it is among priority legislation contained in the Council’s legislative agenda. To stay up to date on this and other legislative priorities relating to philanthropy, sign up for our weekly Public Policy Update and visit our Legislative Action Center.

And if you are attending the Council’s 2011 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, you have a great opportunity to learn more about L3Cs: Attend the preconference session, “The L3C-New Opportunities for Community Foundations.”

The Council has lined up a number of speakers, including Sanders Davies, senior partner, PKF O’Connor Davies; Ericka Harney, assistant director of development, The Council of State Governments; and Robert Lang (moderator), founder, Americans for Community Development. Community foundations will have the chance to learn more about using this new tool to help fulfill their mission. Steve Gunderson is president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Friday, August 26, 2011

From the Regeny

Three Kingdom Business/Business as Misssion related books

Reinventing the Wheel: A New Spin on American Business Leadership By Jonathan D. McDowell

 As America loses faith in current models of leadership, the current need for a new type of leadership is described. A reinvention of leadership is suggested through the use of Romans 12:9-21 as a baseline. After laying that foundation, three foci for a leader are outlined: Purpose, Community and Fortitude. These ideas from contemporary business thought are then applied to business with the text of Romans 12:9-21. The result is what a reinvented American business leader should aim to achieve in personal and organizational leadership.

 Servant Leader Workplace Spiritual Intelligence: A Shield of Protection from Workplace Stress By Gary Roberts, Ph.D. and Daryl Green, Ph.D.

 Servant leader spiritual intelligence is the foundational scriptural approach to leadership. Servant leadership is the essential character attribute that enables managers to promote the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the workplace. This article describes the constituent elements of servant leader spiritual intelligence and its benefits. Servant leadership spiritual intelligence helps managers develop a capacity for transcendence, achieve a higher state of God consciousness, interject the sacred into everyday events, use scriptural principles to solve workplace problems, and engage in ethical and virtuous behavior such as forgiveness, love, transparency, and humility.

  • Our preliminary study indicated that managers who scored higher on servant leadership, an important workplace spiritual intelligence attribute, reported lower levels of job stress and higher levels of workforce engagement (more satisfied with peers and job challenge, higher organizational commitment and loyalty, greater motivation to improve performance, and higher overall performance level).
Examining Viral Marketing and the Diffusion of the Gospels By Lisa Renz and A. Gregory Stone, Ph.D. 

Viral marketing is emerging as a viable strategy for organizations as part of the marketing mix. Research into viral marketing is still in its infancy. Socio-rhetorical criticism is one approach to examine viral marketing, and more specifically, the diffusion of the Gospels to gain insights into what factors led to their successful long-term diffusion. Future research may choose to examine the influences of gender, age, intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, and feedback. Making Sense of the Journey:

The Christian Business Leader as Pilgrim By Corné J. Bekker, Ph.D.

Recent voices have argued that the discipline of faithfully reading and interpreting the sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in the context of business can have a positive effect on economic development. There also seems to be clear evidence that communities in the early Church benefited economically from their conversion to Christ experience.

This article proposes that theological reflection on Biblical perspectives on work and business assists the manager or business leader to interpret her deepest inner values and beliefs as they relate to the workplace, correlate those interpretations with the other information gathered through the tools of management and leading, and finally assess the adequacy of both the theological and business interpretations and correlations to the world in which they labor..

From  Regent University Newsletter

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is My Business Labor an Act of Worship?

The word "ministry" carries different meanings depending who's using it and what's being described.
In the last decade, there's a movement among some workplace-based believers who pursue business labor as an act of worship.One of the names the movement carries is  Business as Mission (BAM).
People involved in Business as Mission, Workplace Ministry, "tentmaking", church planting, Kingdom Business Professionals, Great Commission Companies use the word ministry in a way that appears to carry  a different meaning than when the word "ministry" is used by clergy. Some clergy participating in BAM discussions cautiously explore what BAM people mean by the word "ministry".
Some questions they ask are:

Do you mean ministry alongside of your work to make money?
Do you mean ministry during work breaks with people you meet at work?
Do you mean ministry to the body of Christ by providing employment, so that those employed can do ministry?
Do you mean out-reach in the workplace so that you can draw them into a church somewhere?
Do you mean generating wealth to give to ministries?

To answer, I wanted to look at how the word "ministry" is used in the Bible:

The old testament uses three Hebrew root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Kahan - To  act  as  priest or mediator between God and Man, a ministry before God and men. For example, offering sacrifices.

Aboha - To labor in bondage or in service to a religious project such as a craftsman ministering by labor to build the temple.

Sharatch - to assist or serve alongside: this was the word used for Samuel when he first came to Eli as a child to minister in the temple.

The New testament only uses two Greek root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Hupo -  or rower, as in a ship a  low level laborer. God spoke directly to Paul at his conversion on the road to Damascus and said that his ministry was to be a "rower".

Leturgio  to perform religious or  priestly Service:

Acts 13:2 (worshiping, fasting, ministering before the Lord) 
Romans 15:16, 27 Gentiles churches ministering to  the Jewish churches financially
Hebrews 1:7, 8:6, 9:21, 10:11: When Paul was teaching Jews about the ministry of Jesus as mediator of the new covenant. He called that Jesus' ministry.

Business-based believers are saying that their activities in business are no less than leturgio ministry before the Lord, Acts of Worship.Financial support of other ministries is also part of their worship.

Apostles, Overseers, Elders, Deacons etc are a different question of service (ministry). For example, Diaconia by a diacano (Service done by a deacon) is used  for other acts of service or ministry to the body of Christ.


Under the new covenant, ministry is not restricted to clergy or to acts of church administration. Some people minister before the Lord in acts of worship by conducting business. Yes, they share their faith, do out reach and serve the body of Christ in many other way, too.

The clergy do litergio ministry to God, serving in the role of administration for  the body of Christ past, present and future. They sometimes do this full time.

Some believing entrepreneurs do literugio ministry to God by serving the Body of Christ, past, present and future in the role of the administration of business.

Neither is more is more anointed (Set apart) than the other.